Class Action Litigation in South Africa 02.08.17

On Wednesday 2 August 2017, the editors hosted a launch for a new book, Class Action Litigation in South Africa, the first of its kind, dealing with a novel area of the law.  Edited by John Oxenham, Max du Plessis, Luke Kelly, Sarah Pudifin-Jones and Isabel Goodman, the book promises to be a leading resource for companies, practitioners and academics.  RBB Partner Patrick Smith contributed to chapters in the book.


High Level Panel on the Impact of Key Legislation 26.07.17

RBB partner Patrick Smith was invited to address the High Level Panel on the Assessment of Key Legislation, at a round-table with business stakeholders, held in Johannesburg on 26 July 2017. Patrick gave an initial presentation on the efficient design and implementation of micro-economic policy, focussed particularly on the impact of competition policy and regulation on prices, output and employment, within the context of a wider policy debate on addressing inequality, poverty and unemployment. Patrick then participated in a wide ranging discussion that included the impact of existing and putative competition policy instruments on large and small firms and consumers, and the efficient design and delivery of government interventions.


Brief 54: An innovative leap into the theoretical abyss: Dow/DuPont and the Commission’s novel theory of harm 06.07.17

In March 2017, the European Commission approved the proposed merger between chemical companies Dow and DuPont, subject to undertakings. The Commission applied an innovation theory of harm that is based on a much broader and more speculative concern than in other recent mergers (e.g. Pfizer/Hospira); namely, that the parties would find it profitable to reduce overall R&D investments post-merger causing a reduction in the number of innovative pesticide products in the future. This Brief explains why this theory of harm marks a departure from previous “innovation” cases. It also responds to the recently published paper by Chief Economist Tommaso Valletti and his colleagues, which claims, on the basis of a theoretical model, that horizontal mergers can be expected to reduce innovation incentives as a result of a standard unilateral effect.

RBB Brief 54


EC clears Imerys / Kerneos 03.07.17

On 20 June 2017 the European Commission cleared without any conditions Imerys’ €900m acquisition of Kerneos. During the extended prenotification and Phase I, the Commission investigated in particular foreclosure concerns arising from the vertical link between Imerys’ activity in monolithic refractories and Kerneos’ calcium aluminate cement, which is a key input to the latter, as well as possible links to complementary products already part of Imerys’ portfolio. RBB advised Imerys alongside lawfirm Jones Day.


Tabcorp/Tatts – RBB expert testifies in Australian Competition Tribunal 20.06.17

RBB has provided expert testimony in the Australian Competition Tribunal hearing into the AUD 11 billion merger between Tabcorp and Tatts, two wagering and gaming operators. The ACCC and two interveners had raised concerns that various aspects of the transaction might lead to harm to competition and public detriments. An RBB team led by Patrick Smith, and assisted by Chris Whelan, Paulo Abecasis, Aniek Linssen and Mohsin Raza, prepared two expert reports, assessing the effect of the merger on competition in wagering, as well as effects arising from Tabcorp’s activity in broadcasting racing media, the overall effect on the racing industry, and net public benefits. During the hearing Patrick testified in two hot-tubs on these issues, along with economists instructed by solicitors representing the ACCC and both interveners. ACT president Justice John Middleton stated in conclusion that “the public detriments identified by the ACCC and the interveners are unlikely to either arise or are not of significance”, and the Tribunal placed only one condition on the merger, that Tabcorp must sell its Odyssey gaming monitoring business in Queensland, as Tabcorp had previously announced. RBB was instructed by Herbert Smith Freehills and Gilbert + Tobin, solicitors acting for Tabcorp.